through discussion in a group. The group comes up with as many ideas as possible that are connected with their chosen theme, as a basis for future comics. Materials for capturing ideas: Flipcharts and markers, materials for quick sketches, stickers of different colours, laptop connected to a projector. The essence of brainstorming lies in a division between idea generation (first stage) and analysis and selection (second stage). Preparations Be clear about the purpose: what participants are invited to do, and why. Write the task where everyone can see it, and/or on distributed materials. It might for instance be simply to generate plot ideas, or to develop some major characters in a chosen plot. Idea generation Groups of 5-10 are good. Each group should have a rapporteur who writes the ideas on a flipchart – without editing them! This stage normally takes 40-60 minutes. All group members come up with spontaneous ideas on the chosen theme. There are no ‘bad’ ideas – all are written down, without discussion or criticism. Alex Osborn, who introduced brainstorming (ref), used to say: “Quantity of ideas evolves into quality. Every idea has a rational seed”. Prioritization and development
For the second stage, usually the same groups prioritize their own suggestions. It is also possible to add an ‘expert’ element to guide their choice Participants edit the list together. At this stage light criticism is allowed, as well as adding new ideas that emerge in the process of editing. Criticism should be constructive and deal not only with the idea as such, but also with technical aspects. The main thing is that participants should try to find a rational seed in every idea. Wrap up the brainstorming session with an idea that there are many different ways to solve different problems of sustainable development. Some of them are good for people, but of harm bad for other species; the challenge is to find ideas that will be good for both, today and for future generations. At the end of this stage you should have an edited list of written or sketched ideas for comics. Additional exercises 1. One participant has a piece of paper with panels and a pencil. The first participant draws one idea and then gives the piece of paper to the next person. This piece cycles until you run out of ideas. Each group exchanges their papers with another group. 2. News in comics. Participants study written material on sustainability (environment, society, and economy) and agree on a common idea or thread, then they discuss steps to create comics.
A guide for leaders of workshops for comics for sustainable development